Aden Baker: Notoriety and Anonymity by Marc Cage

Lippy Kids Volume 1 review


The tragic, pathetic story of Aden Oliver Baker is a sadly familiar one. A grown-up problem child whose unchecked neuroses build to an exaggerated finale in a killing spree, and who leaves behind a self-pitying ‘manifesto’ that lays bear the dots that no one in their right mind would have thought to connect.

“The ultimate truth of Aden’s psyche is splattered all over a car in Manchester, New Hampshire.”

The bulk of Marc Cage’s book intercuts choice extracts from the fictional memoir with the transcript of a fictional YouTube ‘presentation’ that’s also written in character, offering a scathing commentary on the affair and the debates that blew up in its aftermath.

It’s well thought-out and very realistic – pointless pop culture digressions and all – but once the biography’s over with and we get mired in the vlogger’s reaction to the feminist reaction and other anti-PC tangents, it does feel like we’re spending a lot of time analysing something that didn’t actually happen.

Whenever I read through detailed descriptions of footage that doesn’t exist (Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves comes to mind), I wish I could just watch it instead. Making a real fake YouTube video would have been the more satisfying way to go. A lot more challenging and time-consuming too, which is presumably why we just get the script, but that still leaves the nagging feeling that we’re reading a book that wishes it didn’t have to be a book.

It’s only in the extended ‘epilogue’ that we get a sense of how Lippy Kids might hold together as a series. We meet the brains behind the video and learn a little about their lives and their nascent YouTube and podcasting empire, but it’s all too brief to form an attachment.

What subject will pique their morbid curiosity next? A fictional crackpot conspiracy theory? A thinly veiled satire of the state of American politics? Will we get to spend more than a single chapter with the characters? The possibilities are endless.



Lippy Kids: Aden Baker: Notoriety and Anonymity Book Cover Lippy Kids: Aden Baker: Notoriety and Anonymity
Lippy Kids
Marc Cage
Dark humour
December, 2016


Lippy Kids podcast host, Oscar Zurano, lays out in his YouTube 'documentary' the short life and violent death of Aden Oliver Baker: his murderous rampage in Manchester, New Hampshire that left 12 dead – ending by his own hand, and the manifesto he left behind detailing his thoughts and beliefs on just why he did it.

There's no such thing as bad publicity. We've all heard this refrain before. The future mass murderer Aden Baker lived it from his earliest years in grade school when he coined the saying: “Notoriety is better than complete anonymity.”

Aden was born to an affluent life, with successful parents in the film industry who –he was to learn– accidentally conceived him. This unwelcome start would later aid his notion of alienation from the rest of humanity, setting him upon a fateful course. With a particular grudge against females, Baker was to overlay all his feelings of frustration and rage like a veneer upon his fellow human beings---scapegoating women for failing to recognize his self-styled 'fabulous' qualities. And claim his virginity.

Taking this journey into Aden Baker's past is to witness a seemingly paradisaical childhood mutate into a monstrous young adulthood that resulted in an actual horror story. Oscar explores, in this admonitory biography, such notions as: was Aden Baker the product of indoctrination into an American popular culture rich with guns and violence? Could the cause have been race-fated angst? Sexual denial? Or was he paupered something else?


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